The Battle of Prokhorovka in July 1943

It was July 1943. For five days the battle continued on the Kursk Bulge. The Orel-Kursk section of the Central Front successfully countered the Wehrmacht soldiers. In the Belgorod region, on the contrary, the initiative was in the hands of the Germans: their offensive continued in the southeasterly direction, which threatened immediately for the two fronts. The place of the main battle was to be a small field near the village of Prokhorovka.

battle of battle
The choice of an area for combat operations was carried outbased on geographical features - the terrain provided an opportunity to stop the German breakthrough and to inflict a powerful counterattack by the forces of the Steppe Front. On July 9, on the orders of the command, the 5th All-Arms and 5th Panzer Guards Armies moved to the area of ​​Prokhorovka. By the same token, changing the shock direction, the Germans advanced.

Tank battle near Prokhorovka. Central battle

Both armies concentrated in the area of ​​the village largetank forces. It became clear that the oncoming battle is simply impossible to avoid. In the evening of July 11, the battle of Prokhorovka began. The German divisions made an attempt to strike the flanks, and our troops had to use considerable forces and even draw reserves to stop the breakthrough. On the morning of July 12, at 8:15, the Soviet Army launched a counteroffensive. This time was chosen by chance - the aim shooting of the Germans was hampered as a result of the blinding of the rising sun. Within an hour the Battle of Kursk near Prokhorovka acquired a colossal scale. In the center of the fierce battle were about 1000-1200 German and Soviet tanks and self-propelled artillery units.

For many kilometers, a rattle was heardcolliding combat vehicles, hum of engines. The aircraft flew a whole "swarm," recalling the clouds. The field burned, new and new explosions shook the earth. The sun was covered by clubs of smoke, ash, sand. The smell of red-hot metal, gary, gunpowder was in the air. The suffocating smoke was sweeping across the field, pinching his eyes to the fighters, and he did not let them breathe. Tanks could only be distinguished by silhouette.

tank battle
The Battle of Prokhorovka. Tank fighting

On this day, battles were fought not only on the maindirection. To the south of the village the German tank group made an attempt to enter our forces in the left flank. The offensive of the enemy was stopped. At the same time, the enemy threw about a hundred tanks to take possession of the height next to Prokhorovka. Resisted by the soldiers of the 95th Guards Division. The fight lasted three hours, and as a result, the German attack failed.

the Battle of Kursk
What ended the battle of Prokhorovka

At about 13 o'clock the Germans once again triedto break in the central direction the course of the battle and inflicted two divisions on the right flank. However, this attack was neutralized. Our tanks began to press the enemy back and in the evening they could drop it for 10-15 km. The battle of Prokhorovka was won, the offensive of the enemy was stopped. Hitler's troops suffered heavy losses, their attacking potential on the Belgorodsky sector of the front was exhausted. After this battle, until our victory, our army did not let go of its strategic initiative.

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